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Hangry October 4, 2020 Fast food bread is a confectionary?

Subway bread is not bread, an Irish court has ruled: there’s too much sugar in it, so it is a confectionary, and therefore subject to a VAT tax. Mike Walsh wrote a few days ago, “The legal distinction between ‘bread’ and ‘not bread’ would have given Subway a tax break because bread is classified as a staple food item. The Supreme Court ruled that Subway bread in fact contains five times the usual amount of sugar-to-flour content.”

The Guardian makes this comparison: “A 6in (15cm) sub roll from Subway contains 5g of sugar – the same as two plain digestive biscuits.
Pret stonebaked losange soup baguette 0.6g
One digestive biscuit 2.4g
Subway Italian white bread 6in roll 5g
McDonald’s Big Mac bun 5.8g.”

I looked at the fast food options in my town, and found that most of the buns had sugar listed as the third ingredient. Here’s McDonald’s: “Regular & Quarter Pounder Buns: Wheat flour (bleached and enriched with thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, iron, folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup, yeast, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soybean, corn, canola, and/or cottonseed),” from JessFastFood. Flour, water, sugar.

According to, their bun is made of “Unbleached Enriched Flour(Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, High Frucose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Yeast, Wheat Gluten.” Flour, water, sugar.

KFC: “Enriched wheat  flour, water, sugar/glucose-fructose, yeast, vegetable oil (soybean and/or canola oil), salt, wheat gluten, calcium propionate, vegetable monoglycerides, sodium searoyl-2-lactylate, diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides. Topping: sesame seeds.” Flour, water, sugar.

A&W’s hamburger bun: “Enriched wheat flour, water, yeast*, sugar/glucose-fructose, vegetable oil (canola or soybean), salt, wheat gluten, vinegar, calcium propionate, monoglycerides, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, sorbic acid, acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides, calcium carbonate, ammonium chloride, calcium sulphate, potassium sorbate.   *Order may change. May contain sesame seeds, soybean and sulphites.” Flour, water, yeast, sugar or Flour, water, sugar, yeast.

When I crave a cheeseburger, it is not a gourmet hand-pressed patty made with locally grown grass-fed beef, artisanal cheese and a fancy home-baked bun. I want a thin, flat McD’s cheeseburger with its sweet-tasting onions and pickles and ketchup on a sweet bun: a confectionary posing as a savoury snack.

When I finally caved to the Micky D craving, I was surprised how sweet it was, but I had changed my sweet tooth on the advice of my friend Agatha.  Or, rather, changed my taste buds. She explained that we shed/regrow our taste buds every couple of weeks. She advised me to cut my sugar consumption by one third, then a few weeks later, another third, and so on, till I got it down to where I wanted it.

I knew I had achieved my goals when I went to our regular family restaurant and couldn’t eat the coleslaw because it was too damn sweet. Who knew? Looking at recipes for restaurant-style coleslaw, I see they call for added sugar.

The first thing I cut after hearing Agatha’s advice was a McD blueberry muffin (sugar is the second ingredient) then I went from a double-double coffee (two sugar, two cream, as every Canadian knows) to 1 sugar then no sugar.

Interesting that Timmie’s bun ingredients do not feature sugar as the third or fourth ingredient. “Tim Hortons White Bun Ingredients: enriched flour, water, yeast, soybean and/or canola oil, salt, wheat gluten, rye flour, malted barley flour, cultured rye flour, soy lecithin.” I guess they’ll get us with the box of Timbits we bring back home or to work to share.


A&W ingredients

Dairy Queen ingredients
From › Pick-1-Entree › Kids-Hamburgerand1

Jess Fast Food re McDonald’s ingredients

Jones, S and Sam Jones and Helen Sullivan, H. (October 1, 2020.) “Subway bread is not bread, Irish court rules.” From

KFC ingredients

Tim Horton’s ingredients
From › tim-hortons › white-bun

Walsh, M. (October 1, 2020.) “Ireland Court Rules That Subway ‘Bread’ Contains Too Much Sugar To Be Legally Considered Bread.” From


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